U.S. Texas Governor Greg Abbott said Saturday that he has sent state resources to ensure peaceful protests in cities over the death of black man George Floyd.
Abbott said the Texas Department of Public Safety has sent more than 1,500 officers to assist local police departments in the cities of Houston, Dallas, San Antonio and Austin. More resources will be provided as needed.
“Texas and America mourn the senseless loss of George Floyd and the actions that led to his death are reprehensible and should be condemned in the strongest terms possible,” said Abbott. “As Texans exercise their 1st Amendment rights, it is imperative that order is maintained and private property is protected.”
Demonstrations and riots have spread to cities across the United States after a video went viral of George Floyd being suffocated to death by a white police officer in the mid-western U.S. state of Minnesota on Monday.
In Houston, four police officers were injured Friday night as nearly 200 people were arrested in a night of chaos in the city’s downtown, local media reported.
The rally started Friday afternoon and deteriorated into violence in the evening. By Saturday morning, broken windows and graffiti were seen as the crowds dispersed. Eight Houston police cruisers were damaged in the unrest, said reports.